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Receiver Hitch Flexing?!

Old 04-23-2009, 07:06 PM
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Default Receiver Hitch Flexing?!

Just installed a new Putnam Class V XDR receiver hitch on my F350. While my son was hitching up my boat, I thought I saw the receiver flex as it took up the tongue weight. We jacked the trailer up again and measured the distance from the bumper to the top of the receiver, then put the weight back onto the hitch. It deflected exactly 1/8" with the load of the trailer on it. The hitch was installed per the instructions, and torqued to specifications with locktite on all of the bolts.

Is that flexing normal, and I've just never noticed, or do I have an issue with my new hitch? I haven't measured my tongue weight, because I haven't had any towing issues or inordinate loading of my truck's rear suspension. Will call Putnam tomorrow, but wanted to hear your thoughts. Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:25 PM
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petrel,
You really should measure the tongue weight. I'm sure it's a lot--350/class5. My guess it's the truck frame deflecting a little, not the hitch. You may be exceeding the dead weight rating of the truck.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:10 AM
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Putnam is out of business.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:02 PM
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http://www.reese-hitches-online.com/hitch_selector.htm
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:11 PM
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Get under the truck and check the torque on those bolts. If they are to spec. then you may be seeing spring flex or frame flex as others have noted. They are supposed to be torqued at install, and after the first tow.

Also is the frame mount portion located to spec, or is it maybe mounted a little to far to the rear of the frame? ( to maybe allow access to the spare tire)

Last edited by gradyguy2956; 04-24-2009 at 08:12 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:40 AM
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The bolts were torqued to spec. Used four of the six holes used by my previous class IV hitch (that did not flex.) and drilled two new ones. The end of the receiver tube ends up placed about 1/2" short of the outer edge of the step bumper. Putnam did not specify how far back on the frame it should be mounted.

Just made a 400mile round trip tow. Will re-torque the bolts shortly. Thanks for the help!

Last edited by petrel; 04-27-2009 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:25 AM
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They will flex like that under load. The frame and hitch are designed to flex a little. What doesn't bend- will break.
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